There was no hesitation from Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater when he was asked if he was still capable of kicking a 65-yard field goal as he enters the 15th year in his NFL career.
“I definitely think I could,” Prater said. “I feel really good this year going into it. I feel like I’m in better shape. I feel better. My leg feels really fresh right now.”
The distance is significant, of course, because it would set a new NFL record for the longest field goal ever kicked in the league. The current holder of the record? Matt Prater himself.
This offseason, Broncos punter Brandon McManus—a friend of Prater’s—collaborated with Bud Light for a contest. If McManus kicks a record-breaking field goal, the entire city of Denver would win free beer.
When the promotion first dropped, Prater was getting flooded with notifications. As someone who doesn’t use social media much, he didn’t tweet about it at first, but a couple days later, he had to defend his title.
When I break my own record, what are we doing for the city of Detroit? @budlight— Matt Prater (@MattPrater_5) July 19, 2020
Bud Light responded by changing the promotion. Now it’s not about breaking the record, it’s simply Prater vs. McManus: longest field goal in 2020 wins free beer for their respective city.
“Hopefully we’ll get a longer one than Denver does this year,” Prater said.
As for breaking his own record, Prater admits he isn’t as strong as he used to be, but he believes several kickers are capable of doing it. It’s simply about opportunity.
“There’s probably a dozen guys in the league that could make a 65-yarder, it’s just getting the opportunity in an actual game and then coming through on that kick,” Prater said. “I’m definitely not as strong as I was when I was 22, 25 years old, but I’m a lot more consistent. So it’s like evolving with my body changing and getting a little bit older, but changing to kick it a little straighter.”